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Roundtable: 2008 Draft Coverage

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday June 05, 2008 1:45 PM ET 2008 Draft Coverage roundtable.

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Dave Pease (11:38:03 AM PT): Please join BP prospect expert Kevin Goldstein and company on Thursday, June 5, 1:45PM ET for commentary on the 2008 Major League draft.

If you'd like to submit a question to be answered during the roundtable you can do so here.

In the meantime, check out our continuing draft coverage here:

Kevin Goldstein (10:41:19 AM PT): Hey folks! I have a sack of White Castles, a giant Coke slurpee (yes, they're basically crack for me) and it's draft time! I'll basically be here as long as you folks want me to, up to the final pick of the day at around 9pm ET. So remember, use the link to send your questions or insightful comments and we'll pick the best ones to share with the class here. Steven Goldman will definitely be stopping by, as should Bryan Smith making a triumphant return to help us out as well. Expect Joe Sheehan to chime in, and who knows what other guest stars we'll have! So let's have fun as teams try to find their next homegrown stars. Words cannot describe how psychotically excited I get right about now.

Steven Goldman (10:43:10 AM PT): I'm here as well, splitting my attention between the MLB intros for draft celebs (what is their function exactly?) and Yankees 2, Blue Jays 0. It's always good to see Luis Tiant... and Blue Moon Odom? Wow!

Kevin Goldstein (10:44:03 AM PT): BrettG (Worthington, OH): Is this the year that Pittsburgh doesn't go cheap in the first round?

Holy Crap! It's Blue Moon Odom! KG All-Time fave! Now back to your question. YES. With Beckham (Tim) going #1, the Pirates will take Alvarez, and pay for him. He's the right pick there as well.

Kevin Goldstein (10:46:52 AM PT): UB44 (Hermann, MO): So what is going on with Tanner Scheppers? Teams are getting the medical clearance to draft him in the first round. Is there really anything horribly wrong with him like a torn ligament? I mean if you can't find anything, doesn't that mean its probably nothing? Thats usually what the diagnosis is when a soft tossing lefty from Savannah State goes to see a doctor about the same problem.

The rumor is that it's definitely something, I've heard both labrum and rotator cuff fraying. There are plenty of teams who do NOT have medical clearance to take him early. One rumor is Seattle at 20, but I think Scheppers is going to be waiting around for a while.

Steven Goldman (10:49:03 AM PT): Hey, Rangers... You can tell a lot about an organization by the stripes on its polo shirts. You've got Mark McLemore looking like a Toys 'R' US employee. Nice to see Devon White, one of the rangiest outfielders I ever had the chance to watch.

Kevin Goldstein (10:49:41 AM PT): mike (DC): So does Beckham@1 overall make Matusz a lock for #4 or are Crow and Smoak still in play?

KG: Let's call it a semi-lock. (Look! It's Devon White -- another KG fave!). The real other possibility is Smoak, not Crow. Crow, like Posey has made some late money demands that depending on who you talk to are either, $4m, $4-6m, $10m, or 'an elite major league deal'.

Joe Sheehan (10:49:50 AM PT): I just want to chime in to say that last night's events blew my hook. I've been strongly behind the Rays taking Tim Beckham, a combination of my belief that they do need a high-upside shortstop and my faith in Dioner Navarro as a long-term solution behind the plate.

The Rays appear set to make the right decision, and if it's not entirely for the right reasons--more about money than talent--it beats going the other way.

KG, where does Posey fall now? To the Giants?

Kevin Goldstein (10:53:03 AM PT): mgvasquez38 (detroit): Given his apparently high $ demands, how far do you realistically see Posey falling? Could he really drop out of the top ten?

KG: Probably not. It does look like Posey and his representatives (CAA) are trying to drop to a big money team, but from what I can tell, somebody with a single digit pick is going to call the bluff. That clump of 10 guys at the top is just not changing -- it's moving around alot -- but I don't think any new names are moving into it.

Bryan Smith (10:54:29 AM PT): I should pop in before all this gets started to say that I'll be in and out all afternoon, likely popping in to share my excitement every time a Cape Cod League player gets drafted. Should be a fascinating day. Last year, Kevin and I's largest draft day surprise was Matt LaPorta going 7 as an outfielder. Needless to say, I think this year will trump that.

For those keeping score at home, I think Ethan Martin is the best player that won't go in the top 10, or so, that I believe will be a star.

Kevin Goldstein (10:55:36 AM PT): Joe, the decision to take Beckham has everyone from 3 to 8 kicking the tires on Posey. The Giants are the first team that seems to really be thinking about it, but they also really like Smoak and Beckham, who will come at a better price. It also makes a very intersting decision for Florida, who was on Kyle Skipworth all along, but spent a lot of time last night trying to figure out if they take the best college catcher over the best high school one.

Kevin Goldstein (10:56:28 AM PT): Boomer (Wrigleyville): How many White Castles you got?!?!?! I'm starving!

KG: I'm on my 5th!

Steven Goldman (10:57:01 AM PT): I know you've got to draft the best player, not necessarily for need, but I wonder if Posey will be the impact bat the Giants really need. Then again, they need any bat. As Bobby Murcer used to say, "What the [Giants] need is hitters who can hit."

Kevin, it used to be that it was verbotten to take a catcher in the first round because you were automatically supposed to get Steve Chilcott or somebody. What player was the turning point on first-round backstops?

Kevin Goldstein (10:59:24 AM PT): BillS (Ankeny, IA): Can you guys explain the A's infatuation with Jemile Weeks at #12, or is this just a smoke screen?
Mateo (Guaymas, Mexico): Late rumor has Weeks going to the A's at 12... please convince me this is unfounded rumor.
Alex (SF, CA): A bunch of folks have Weeks @ 12? This seems like an overdraft. How likely do you think it happens?

If none of the big college jokers drops, they're taking Weeks. When it happens, I'll explain why it's actually a GOOD pick.

Kevin Goldstein (11:00:40 AM PT): Steven: It might have been Mauer, but really, those trends tend to get ignore. Posey is so easy to project as a big leaguer, that nobody cares if Danny Goodwin never made it.

Joe Sheehan (11:02:58 AM PT): Seems like we'll be college-heavy in the first hour of the draft. Which of Posey, Cook, Alvarez, et al, will be the first to reach the majors?

Kevin Goldstein (11:04:57 AM PT): Who's Cook -- Is there a new guy? I think a lot of that is going to depend on who goes where and what kind of paths players have. I think Smoak is a total monster and he could cruise through the minors.

Kevin Goldstein (11:05:46 AM PT): Badger (Hilltown): What's the earliest place for Hewitt? How far could he fall?

KG: Might be out of the first -- might not. He's a HUGE wild card. As one scouting director said to me a couple of days ago, "He could go 8, he could go 88"

Bryan Smith (11:05:51 AM PT): Weeks going in the first half of the first round was a foregone conclusion after his freshman season, and I don't think it's a particularly heinous reach, either. The dude is crazy athletic, and has bat speed that few in this draft possess. He's had some nagging injury problems, he's inconsistent defensively, but he can really swing it. He could be a real good leadoff man.

Kevin Goldstein (11:07:10 AM PT): pmuehlenkamp (Cincinnati): If both Gordon Beckham (not probable) and Brett Lawrie (probable) are available for the Reds at #7, who do they take? And, is there someone else in consideration?

At this point, Gordon really could be there, and they'll take him. Lawrie still has an outside shot.

Joe Sheehan (11:07:17 AM PT): Aaron Crow. Not Aaron Cook. I'm apparently matching Kevin, White Castle for shot.

Steven Goldman (11:08:52 AM PT): If there's a Cook, I vote for James Cook, who discovered Hawaii. The locals showed their appreciation by eating him. I understand that this was actually Tommy Lasorda's intention when he drafted Mike Piazza with the last pick in the draft... He thought he was getting Mike Pizza.

Kevin Goldstein (11:10:02 AM PT): John (SF): KG, you may have White Castle but we have In-N-Out. Anyways, is Hicks slipping because he is telling teams he won't pitch? Is that why he is no longer in play at 12 for the A's?

Initially, Hicks was saying he won't pitch, and that he wants to play every day. He's softened that stance of late, but there is some concern that his heart wouldn't be in it.

Kevin Goldstein (11:11:43 AM PT): SummerSchoolSucks (Classroom(s)): So coincidently or intentional cold weather state bias, I have not one but two tests Draft Day (Economics and Strategic Management) going from 11:30-3:30 pacific time and will miss at least the first couple rounds. Could you please re-affirm that getting good grades to get into law school is more important then knowing what is occurring in the draft real time?

KG: I would say the draft is more important.

Kevin Goldstein (11:13:04 AM PT): Nick Schaefer (London): How does one decide between Smoak and Alonso if given the choice?

Smoak has numerous advantages -- switch-hitter, far superiour defensive player, doesn't have issues vs. LHP.

Steven Goldman (11:14:36 AM PT): Could Bud do ONE thing without getting his buzzwords "competitive balance" and "parity" into the conversation?

Nate Silver (11:15:07 AM PT): Imagine the pressure Don Zimmer is under right now.

Kevin Goldstein (11:15:29 AM PT): We've started, and the Rays are on the clock. As I stated on Unfiltered, they decided late last night that Tim Beckham is the best player available, and they're taking him.

Bryan Smith (11:16:16 AM PT): There's a 40% chance Zimmer hears Beckham and actually turns in the name Gordon instead, though. So five minutes of drama it will be!

Steven Goldman (11:17:41 AM PT): Kevin, in your Unfiltered post earlier, you said that money isn't influencing the Rays. Which teams will be the first to have a choice dictated by price?

Kevin Goldstein (11:18:18 AM PT): Money will play a role MAYBE for the Giants at 5, and almost certainly for Florida at 6.

Kevin Goldstein (11:20:53 AM PT): And it's official. The Rays do the right thing and select Tim Beckham, and Joe loses out on a story angle.

High School Shortstops selection No. 1 overall: Justin Upton (2005), Matt Bush (2004), Alex Rodriguez (1993), Chipper Jones (1990), Shawon Dunston (1982), Tim Foli (1968)

Nate Silver (11:21:35 AM PT): Ooh I like that swing.

Kevin Goldstein (11:23:12 AM PT): Here's the thing. All we've talked about is how toolsy Beckham is, and that might have overshadowed just how good a BASEBALL PLAYER he is. He's not some raw product -- he has nice fundamentals and instincts for the game -- it will be interest to see how much power comes. Low end, it's Edgar Renteria kind of power; High end, it's 20-25 a year.

Joe Sheehan (11:24:29 AM PT): As Kevin wrote, this was not about money, but about identifying the best player. It was the right decision, and even if Beckham moves the way Upton or Jones did, he's a star in the making.

Hey, a Matt Bush sighting!

Steven Goldman (11:25:22 AM PT): Dunston was taken ahead of Dwight Gooden... The joke in subsequent years was, "Of course he was -- he has a better arm than Gooden."

Kevin Goldstein (11:25:46 AM PT): That list is pretty impressive, and Bush should be discounted because of all the shenanigans that year, nobody thought he was the best talent.

Nate, you should like the swing, the defensive actions, pretty much everything about him. What is there not to like about him? I haven't found it.

Bryan Smith (11:26:27 AM PT): I said last year I liked Pedro Alvarez better than David Price, a position that Kevin probably still holds against me. My comments about Pedro may have been hyperbolized since I covered him on Team USA, but he's one hell of a talent. Also: PNC Park has a short right field fence, so I really think he's going to hit a lot of home runs as a Pirate. Congrats Pittsburgh fans.

Kevin Goldstein (11:26:35 AM PT): 2. Pirates select Pedro Alvarez, 3b, Vanderbilt. Not a shock. You could argue he's the best, and the Pirates need to prove that their in this to win it and not messing around in the draft anymore.

Steven Goldman (11:27:13 AM PT): Not to like: He might outgrow shortstop? BP alumni Keith Law just said that on TV. You worry about that?

Kevin Goldstein (11:28:33 AM PT): Alex Godon is the only other college third baseman to go No. 2 overall in draft history. With Neil Walker as a third baseman (but struggling at AAA), one wonders if Pedro will move to 1st, and some think he's going to end up there anyway. He could hit in Double-A next year.

Kevin Goldstein (11:30:05 AM PT): Steve, That's a minority opinion. The majority of evaluators I talked to think he's a shortstop long term, and those that didn't saw him as a centerfielder. His speed is a 55-60 right now, so I understand the concern that it COULD, but not necessarily WILL drop.

Kevin Goldstein (11:31:27 AM PT): Jason (Work... ): My annual minor league road trip rolls through Hudson Valley (Short season for the Rays) two weeks from tonight. Will Beckham be assigned there? What's this do to Brignac's stock in the organization?

KG: Chances that Beckham is signed and in uniform two weeks from now is pretty much zero. When drafting #1 overall, you take the best player, you don't worry about path.

Nate Silver (11:32:13 AM PT): It sounds like everyone has my cellphone.

Kevin Goldstein (11:32:23 AM PT): 3. Royals take Eric Hosmer. A lot of questions about why Hosmer over the big college bats, because he's more risky. He might be, but his ceiling, especially on a power level is totally ridiculous.

Kevin Goldstein (11:34:07 AM PT): Interesting fact: Eric Hosmer is the first ever high school first baseman to be selected third overall, and only the second first baseman EVER (Dave McCarty, 1991). The Royals did consider Matusz here, but they LOVED Hosmer all along.

Steven Goldman (11:34:56 AM PT): Nate, I'm reminded of the scene in "Star Wars" where C-3PO takes a call from Luke, who is stuck in the trash compactor, hears them screaming, and concludes that they've just been crushed. I'm pretty sure that's what just happened to Hosmer. One wonders if being compacted will reduce his contract demands.

VG (Chicago) (11:35:08 AM PT): If Posey drops to No. 8, any chance that the White Sox take him? Perhaps they are willing to go over slot money because they don't expect to draft this high again for a while? This pick is their first in the top 10 since 1990.

Kevin Goldstein (11:35:17 AM PT): Carlos (Mexico): Some people think of Eric Hosmer as Bobby Hamelin redux. What do you think?

I think that is ridiculous. He's 200 times the athlete.

Bryan Smith (11:37:58 AM PT): Before the Giants pick, let me say that I think Justin Smoak is a better fit for this organization than Posey. Steven alluded to it a bit earlier -- they need absolute impact bats. I like Buster Posey a ton, and I think he's a sure-fire Major Leaguer. But absolute best case scenario is probably late 90s Jason Kendall, and we've all seen the other comparisons thrown around. Smoak has the potential to lead the Major Leagues in home runs and win Gold Gloves. Position scarcity shouldn't concern a Giants team that is weak at every position offensively.

Kevin Goldstein (11:38:02 AM PT): 4. Orioles select Brian Matusz, lhp, San Diego.

They've been on him for like -- EVER. And there was a brief wave of support for Smoak, but it wasn't enough. I think this is the starter who gets there the fastest. He's not a pure power guy, and not a pure finesse guy, but he's above average in both areas and he'll torture minor league hitters.

Kevin Goldstein (11:40:10 AM PT): Lemme say I think Bryan is WAY low on Posey. Best case scenario is .290/.360/.475 catcher with Gold Glove defense. WAY better than Kendall.

Steven Goldman (11:42:10 AM PT): Off-topic a bit, but as this is going on, Chien-Ming Wang has walked four in 4.1 innings. Toronto 3, Yankees 2... Peter Gammons is telling the story of busted first-round catchers and arguing that you'd be better off converting an infielder (like Russell Martin).

Kevin Goldstein (11:42:12 AM PT): College LHP 4th overall: Daniel Moskos, Bryan Oelkers, Mike King.

Here comes the Giants @5: Still a wild card, but it's Posey, Beckham or Smoak . . . or someting crazy.

Kevin Goldstein (11:43:27 AM PT): 5. Giants take Buster Posey. If you heard Bud make the announcement, now you know why he goes by Buster. This is a fantastic pick at five for the Giants. Really great find at five, and I'll bet anything right now that he doesn't get $12 million from SF.

Bryan Smith (11:44:34 AM PT): Kevin's right in one area: Posey is far better than Kendall defensively, so the comparison is far from perfect. But let's not forget how good Kendall was offensively: .310/.410/.480 for the years I'm talking about as his ceiling. It's a good pick, and Posey has improved every year of college. And hell, I love him because he's the first Cape guy to go.

Kevin Goldstein (11:45:17 AM PT): zstine1 (jhu): when was the last draft that both the pirate and giants made a seemingly logical pick?

Shocking, I know! Posey and Wieters are the only two college catchers to ever go 5th overall. Buster says he's excited, but he doesn't really sound it, does he?

Steven Goldman (11:45:45 AM PT): Kevin, are you implying that he doesn't sign with the Giants, or simply that his demands have been overstated?

Kevin Goldstein (11:46:18 AM PT): Marlins are next at 6th, and with Posey gone, they'll likely take Skipworth, unless they figured something out with Yonder Alonso.

Kevin Goldstein (11:47:12 AM PT): I'm implying he signs with the Giants, I almost guarantee it. There's no way going back to college would be a sound decision, and he knows it. He's signing, but no way he's getting 12 big ones. NO WAY.

Kevin Goldstein (11:49:43 AM PT): 6. Marlins take Kyle Skipworth, C -- other HS catchers taken sixth overall -- Erik Pappas and Butch Benton. Don't worry Marlins, he'll be better than that. Is ESPN really saying he's a good defender? He's pretty average there. Big, big kid, big, big power, big, big arm. It's a good pick, and he won't need a TON of money from Florida. This works for them well.

Steven Goldman (11:50:11 AM PT): Re Skipworth, how much extra pressure is placed on scouts when evaluating a high school catcher? The risk with catchers is if they can't stay behind the plate they might not be able to play anywhere else. Obviously with a college backstop you have a better idea because he's older/closer. How is scouting accuracy on the prepsters?

Joe Sheehan (11:52:37 AM PT): Why would the team with Joey Votto take the polished college first baseman?

Kevin Goldstein (11:52:44 AM PT): oira61 (San Francisco): Are teams aware that most will fail in the first round? I enjoy looking at baseball-reference.com's list of drafts from previous years because it also includes the players' career stats. One thing that becomes apparent -- which nobody ever talks about -- is how many bad major leaguers are drafted in the first round, particularly after pick #15 or so. There seem many more bad players chosen than good. Yet the mainstream media constantly belittles their hometown front office for one bad pick in the past -- "you didn't pick Frank Thomas when you had the chance" -- not even noticing how many other teams fail too.

KG: Do me a favor, and go construct your all-star rosters, and them look up where they were drafted. When you are done with that, get back to me on this one. Yes, the failure rate is high, but the top of the draft is still where the stars come from.

Nate Silver (11:53:08 AM PT): Kevin: so do you think Posey was trying to scare a couple of teams off from drafting him?

Kevin Goldstein (11:53:17 AM PT): Steven, With a guy like Skipworth, the bat is so good you don't worry too much.

W (IN) (11:53:27 AM PT): Alonso to Reds seems to have surprised many people. One of the comps for him is Tony Perez. Does this kind of history influence teams?

Kevin Goldstein (11:54:35 AM PT): 7. Reds, Yonder Alonso, 1b, Miami

This is your first big surprise and things are messy. Right now the White Sox are dancing on tables in the draft room because they get their guy in the other Beckham. I'm shocked here. To answer Joe's question, the Reds are simply adding what they believe is the most valuable asset to the organization.

Bryan Smith (11:55:19 AM PT): The top Cape prospect finds a home in the top ten, which proves to you college players that it pays to hit with wood when you can. Yonder Alonso is such a talented hitter, though, I think he could hit with a tennis racquet. Alonso has the best approach for any player in this draft, and it's really not close.

Kevin Goldstein (11:55:46 AM PT): KG: Two college 1B in history drafted 7th overall: Matt LaPorta and Frank Thomas -- NICE LIST.

Will Carroll (11:57:25 AM PT): Hey, look, I can apparently post here. Lots of interesting rumors flying later in the draft but right now the most interesting to me is all the talk around Scheppers.

Kevin Goldstein (11:57:32 AM PT): I like Alonso a lot, but no way, no way at ALL he should go over Smoak. I don't get that at all. Somebody is going to get a steal with Smoak. By the way, Steve Phillips is TOTALLY right here, sign out of high school kids. Way better for your career.

Kevin Goldstein (11:58:15 AM PT): Will, The Scheppers thing is weird -- could go as high as to Seattle at 20, could be out of the first three rounds.

Joe Sheehan (11:59:04 AM PT): I get that, but I just can't see where the difference in talent between Alonso and Beckham, or even Alonso and Crow, is worth jamming yourself up at the left end of the defensive spectrum. Alonso is supposed to be a quick-to-the-majors guy, too.

I almost always make the "best player" argument at this point in the draft. When it comes to taking pure hitters, though, I think you need to bow to the reality of positional value.

Getting Gordon Beckham at #8 is a really nice pick for the White Sox.

Kevin Goldstein (11:59:55 AM PT): 8. White Sox select Gordon Beckham, SS, Georgia.

Very good pick for them, and they are THRILLED that he's still on the board. He could move very quickly through the system. Did somebody just compare him to Jeter? really? Comp I still like is Khalil Greene's bat with Jed Lowrie's glove.

Bryan Smith (12:01:17 PM PT): Beckham hit in the double-digits in home runs as a freshman when he wasn't expected to, and he never looked back. However, he wasn't an elite guy until the Cape Cod last summer, and not a top ten guy until his amazing spring. I was given a Brandon Inge comp last summer that inspired my ranking back then, but now I think Inge represents the low end -- a move to third base, a low OBP, too many strikeouts. There's a good chance that he doesn't fall into some of those traps, and there's a chance he falls in none. Kevin's comp implies the same issues, but Greene's power is where Beckham's high ranking stems from.

Kevin Goldstein (12:01:51 PM PT): College SS taken #8 overall: Tim Costo, Bobby Meacham, Jim DeNeff

Joe. I agree, I would totally take Beckham over Alonso, every time.

Smoak still on the board is just insane.

Will Carroll (12:02:45 PM PT): To bring people up to speed, Scheppers medicals have been cleared for Seattle to take him. That's confirmed with multiple sources. Whether they will or not remains to be seen. I've talked to several people with picks behind and ahead of SEA and NO ONE is even looking at him. One said "My doctor would kill me if we even mentioned this guy." There's lots of Tim Stauffer and Rice pitcher comps being thrown around, though I don't know much about Scheppers as a pitcher.

Kevin Goldstein (12:02:55 PM PT): Washington at 9 -- Pay for Crow, get the bat with Smoak? Look at Gerrit Cole's arm? They want to spend money here.

Joe Sheehan (12:03:31 PM PT): Nats take Crow at 109...Astros have to take Smoak and run, right? This is a gift?

Steven Goldman (12:04:06 PM PT): Bobby Meacham, of course, became a whipping boy for both Yankees fans and George Steinbrenner, who personally interfered with his development with a punitive two-level demotion in the spring of 1984.

Kevin Goldstein (12:05:09 PM PT): Washington takes Crow, and they'll pay the frieght, and that's a GREAT pick at 9. Not as great as whoever takes Smoak, but I GUARANTEE that the A's are holding their breath right now, hoping that Houston and Texas find a way to screw this up.

Will Carroll (12:05:44 PM PT): Nats pass on Smoak too? KG, is there any makeup issue here? Demands? Something in the scouting report or is he just Rick Porcello?

Kevin Goldstein (12:06:30 PM PT): College RHP @9: Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Appier, Mike Poehl, Ron Darling.

Steven Goldman (12:07:29 PM PT): Will, what do you see in Crow's mechanics? He does this twisty behind the back thing with his arm. It looks a little torque-y.

Bryan Smith (12:07:30 PM PT): Honestly, Crow is one of the strangest college prospects in some time. In high school, it's not totally unheard of for a guy to gain about 8-10 mph in velocity in one year. But for a 20-year-old college player to do it in one summer, like Crow did in the Cape Cod League last year, is rather unheard of. Crow has fastball velocity, fastball command and fastball movement. Hard to find a better foundation than that.

Kevin Goldstein (12:07:43 PM PT): It's a mystery Will. He doesn't want a ton of money, there are no makeup issues. He just seems to be everyone's plan B and they're getting their Plan A guys. Reds seem to be the only team that had Alonso ahead of him.

Will Carroll (12:09:09 PM PT): Re: Crow, It is a bit torquey, but he's never had arm problems. I dont think you worry so much about his mechanics now absent injuries. You focus on results until you get to someone with just crazy bad mechanics who you'll have to fix. I wouldn't draft a project this high.

Steven Goldman (12:10:06 PM PT): No Smoak to Astros. You wonder if with Berkman around, the Astros figured they didn't want to run into a similar logjam at first as we were just talking about with the Reds. Of course, the Rangers just did that vis a vis Salty.

Kevin Goldstein (12:10:37 PM PT): 10. Astros -- Jason Castro, C, Stanford.

Are you f-ing kidding me? Words can not describe how dumb this is. They just can't. I'm utterly speechless. At least I get to rip Houston's drafts once again. I'm rambling to myslef here it total disbelief.

Joe Sheehan (12:10:37 PM PT): Jason Castro over Smoak? Over Friedrich? KG, is this just being conservative?

Will Carroll (12:10:38 PM PT): Didn't the Astros take a catcher not long ago in the first? Does picking someone at the same position in the next year or so send a message of "bust?" (Aside from pitcher, of course.)

Steven Goldman (12:10:49 PM PT): Correction... The Astros did that vis a vis Towles, not that Towles has impressed anyone with this .140 batting average.

Kevin Goldstein (12:11:48 PM PT): Ok. Here's the thing. Castro is a really nice catcher, don't get me wrong. But that's a late first round talent and JUSTIN SMOAK IS STILL ON THE BOARD. Maybe the Astros just didn't notice this.

Bryan Smith (12:11:51 PM PT): Castro hit .167/.287/.225 as a sophomore at Stanford, and he was pretty much forgotten about. But again, for the fifth time in ten picks, you have a guy that got noticed in the Cape Cod League and followed it up with a great spring. For the record, he threw out 28 of 69 this year for a 40% success rate, so that's pretty good. He should hit for some average, some power, and I doubt he'll walk very much. A weird pick.

Kevin Goldstein (12:13:51 PM PT): Andy (TX): OH my GOD!! Castro??? What the is Wade thinking?

I'll let Andy speak for legions of Astros fans.

Joe Sheehan (12:14:50 PM PT): Rangers take Smoak. KG, any furniture flying in Oaktown?

Will Carroll (12:14:54 PM PT): Jamey Newberg is a very happy guy right now. Maybe by the time Smoak is ready, the Rangers will have ... wow, Chipper Jones? Gammons ... wow ... ok, maybe the Rangers will have their C/1B/DH situation figured out.

Kevin Goldstein (12:15:33 PM PT): I'm still totally floored, by what Houston did. I know I shouldn't be at this point with the Astros.

11. Rangers -- Justin Smoak, 1b, South Carolina.

Congrats Rangers fans, you just found your replacement for Mark Teixeira. Just a crazy, crazy steal. The Rangers could have picked fourth or fifth and not done better.

Steven Goldman (12:16:45 PM PT): Kevin, what does this pick do to Chris Davis (.333/.376/.618 at Frisco this year)? Will he be able to stay at third?

Kevin Goldstein (12:16:48 PM PT): Oakland is not happy right now. They spent a lot of time trying to figure out sceanarios where Smoak or Gordon Beckham dropped to them, and that just almost happened. They'll get their Plan B in Weeks, and then things get really fun.

Bryan Smith (12:17:17 PM PT): Justin Smoak and Josh Hamilton. The AL West might just have found their Bash Brothers, v. 2.0.

Kevin Goldstein (12:18:43 PM PT): Steve -- one is 1b and one is DH

Will Carroll (12:19:16 PM PT): Ok name check ... Je-MILE or Je-MEEL? I've heard the latter.

Kevin Goldstein (12:20:44 PM PT): 12. Oakland takes Jemile Weeks, 2b, Miami

Their college guy doesn't fall. And they couldn't find a high school guy they wanted this high. Here's the thing about Weeks. On a tools level, he might be the best college player on the board. There's more risk here than Beckham, for example, but Weeks has a higher ceiling for me.

Kevin Goldstein (12:23:06 PM PT): I've been putting Friedrich to the Cards @13, but that's really just because you need to find him a home and he's going to go high.

Bryan Smith (12:24:09 PM PT): Kevin, Delino DeShields two peak seasons were about .290/.370/.440 with about 30 steals. Is that the ceiling you're talking about for Weeks, or more in your opinion?

Kevin Goldstein (12:25:33 PM PT): Bryan. I don't HATE the comp. Weeks is that kind of player with more power and less speed (not that he's slow).

Kevin Goldstein (12:27:17 PM PT): 13. Cardinals take Brett Wallace, Arizona State.

The Walrus! This guy can totally rake. If anyone think he's a big league third basemen, they are borderline insane. Blue Jays are currently throwing things around the room.

Kevin Goldstein (12:29:00 PM PT): Twins have to be pretty happy, as all those high school kids they like are still around. They like Lawrie, Hicks and Martin -- but Friedrich is still around and tempting, and he's a Twins kinda pitcher.

Bryan Smith (12:29:25 PM PT): Mr. Carroll: You going to clear Albert Pujols to move back to third base in 2011 for us? Kidding. Sort of.

Kevin Goldstein (12:29:56 PM PT): Ryan (Santa Barbara): KG: Where does The Walrus fit into the Cardinals' plans? Can he play LF? He can't be worse there than Dunn right?

KG: Actually, I think he could be worse if given the shot.

Joe Sheehan (12:30:27 PM PT): Wow, the Twins took a toolsy high-school outfielder. No freaking way.

Kevin Goldstein (12:30:33 PM PT): Steve (St. Louis): How about our hometown kid, Tim Melville?

Dropping due to talent and money.

Kevin Goldstein (12:32:30 PM PT): 14. Twins, Aaron Hicks, OF

The most important thing I can point out here is that they announced him as an OUTFIELDER. If you dream on him, it's 60 power, 60 speed, 70+ arm.

Kevin Goldstein (12:33:34 PM PT): Stu Whitehead (Essex, VT): What is the "PG" on all the high-school players' hats stand for?

Perfect Game -- the leader by a mile in these high school showcases that everyone goes to.

Kevin Goldstein (12:35:42 PM PT): DaveKavanagh (Dublin, Ireland): Kevin, do teams have specific personnel that try to figure out how the other teams are going to draft, or do they tend to glean as much info as possible from prospect mavens such as your good self?

KG: Yes, teams do ask me what I know. Yes, teams do often as a courtesy, tell teams behind them who they are taking.

Dodgers @ 15 is interesting. Cashner is the rumor, college reliever doesn't make sense though.

Will Carroll (12:36:57 PM PT): Bryan - no.

This pick reminds me a bit of LaPorta last year (Wallace, I mean.) Get the best hitter, figure out where he fits later.

Does Hicks have a Reggie Cleveland comp?

Kevin Goldstein (12:37:12 PM PT): 15. Dodgers select Ethan Martin, 3b

Good, I'm glad I'm the guy who didn't buy that rumor. This is a great pick, but I'm confused as to the position announcement. He's a WAY better pitcher than hitter (but he's a good hitter). As a pitcher, he's potentially a monster.

Bryan Smith (12:38:25 PM PT): Yeah, I'm with Kevin. I said before the draft that I really liked Martin, but that was with the assumption they were going to let that 96 mph fastball fly. We'll see.

Kevin Goldstein (12:38:37 PM PT): hyattff2003 (Arlington): Kevin, do you see the Brewers snapping up Friedrich if available (perhaps Shooter Hunt), or going more risky with Lawrie?

KG: I hear they are leaning against taking the toolsy high school kid, but Hunt is really plummeting and I don't think they'll go that way. Friedrich might be the perfect fit here.

Kevin Goldstein (12:39:34 PM PT): Well, Gordon Beckham certainly has the hair for ESPN.

Kevin Goldstein (12:41:06 PM PT): I really think a mistake might have been made, and Martin is going to be switched to RHP. One team official compared him to Nolan Ryan -- I kid you not.

Will Carroll (12:42:20 PM PT): KG - didn't the Dodgers surprise people with their Loney pick a couple years ago re: position?

I still don't understand why these guys can't do both, especially at the lower minors.

Kevin Goldstein (12:42:57 PM PT): 16. Brewers -- Brett Lawrie, C, Canada

Blue Jays now pulling their hair out. No Walrus, No Candian. Friedrich might be a nice consolation prize. Note the positon. He's got the body and arm for this and his value gets better if he can stay there.

Kevin Goldstein (12:44:11 PM PT): Will: one excellent point, and one I couldn't disagree with more. Most liked Loney far better as a pitcher.

No way you could develop as a two-way player in the pros. Developing as either a position player OR a pitcher is a fulltime job, and trying to do both is doing a half-assed job at both.

Kevin Goldstein (12:45:57 PM PT): strupp (Madison): True or false, Scott Boras is representing Beckham's hair?

I love our readers.

I'll admit -- I'm baffled on the Jays right now. All their guys are kinda gone.



Joe Sheehan (12:46:08 PM PT): Kevin and Bryan know the player better, so consider this a more general observation. Given a choice, I would always start someone like Hicks or Martin out as a position player. You can move from hitting to pitching at 23; you can't move from pitching to hitting at that age, Rick Ankiel notwithstanding. The missed reps cost too much, whereas the missed innings from 18-22 arguably help the pitcher.

If the gap between the player's talents is so wide as to make it obvious what he should do, so be it. Absent that, I think you let a kid hit first, then pitch.

Kevin Goldstein (12:46:37 PM PT): dantroy (davis, ca): Should Met fans be worried that the college relievers are still available?

Maybe -- I'll explain if they take Perry.

Kevin Goldstein (12:48:21 PM PT): 17. Blue Jays take David Cooper, 1b, CAL

I shoulda known this. Dammit. Wallace is gone, what's the next Wallace-esque thing? David Cooper. He's gonna make a few extra hundred thou with this pick, and he really can hit. More power than Wallace, and I'm going to disagree with PHillips here, it's 30+ HR power. Tons of walks, not as pure a bat as Wallace.

Bryan Smith (12:48:52 PM PT): If you ask me to go back to my Cape Cod League rankings, Cooper is the guy I now most often pull my hair about. I put Ike Davis at 28 and noted Cooper, but didn't rank him. I didn't while ignoring one coach that told me that behind Yonder, he was the best first baseman in the league. Big left-handed power, and while I hit him down a few notches for his lack of athleticism, he has the most important tool.

Kevin Goldstein (12:49:16 PM PT): Joe: I agree with you very much, as long as the talent is even. So for Hicks, Minnesota might be doing the right thing. For Martin, he's a first round pitcher and a 2nd-3rd round hitter, so I think you start him on the mound because of the gap.

Kevin Goldstein (12:50:27 PM PT): dantroy (davis, ca): Mets have to go with Friedrich, here, right?

I have to think so, but if you hear the name Ryan Perry here don't be shocked. Also note: Tim Melvile still on the board.

Kevin Goldstein (12:52:02 PM PT): pro341 (ND): To all the experts, how many of the first round picks will see ML time THIS YEAR if any?

Most likely answer: zero.

Kevin Goldstein (12:53:23 PM PT): 18. Mets take Ike Davis, 1b, ASU

Power bat, a few late rumors were flying around that someone might take him as a pitcher. Lot of power, lot of Ks type, but a good approach.

Kevin Goldstein (12:54:45 PM PT): This is interesting. Basically the Cubs get high school arm they want likely. Melville? Odorizzi? Kelly? Other?

Joe Sheehan (12:54:49 PM PT): If you split the difference on Hicks and Martin, you have 15 position players and just three pitchers in the first 18 picks. I cannot remember a split like this, ever.

Surprised the Mets didn't take Friedrich, just as I was surprised the Brewers didn't take him. KG, why is he slipping a bit?

Will Carroll (12:57:36 PM PT): I'm a bit confused by this. Cubs don't need a fast moving reliever --- just best available?

Kevin Goldstein (12:57:49 PM PT): jimoneill (New London): Kevin, you've now said in two consecutive chats that its virtually impossible to develop a young player simultaneously as a pitcher and position player. Other than reciting conventional baseball wisdom. is there any evidence or data to support the contention and might this not be new area of exploration for MLB, particularly given the obvious desire for increased athleticism in baseball?

KG: I've been to minor league parks, I've been to spring training facilties both on and off game days. I've seen how much work these kids are asked to do here. You can't do the work for both positions.

Kevin Goldstein (12:59:40 PM PT): 19. Cubs take Andrew Cashner, TCU

This is a total shock, and also the guy the Mariners really wanted @20. I can say that I NEVER heard Cashner attached to Chicago. It will be interesting to see if they try to start him. It's a dangerous thing to do. Yes he has three pitches, but he was a starter his whole life until this year, and he was pretty marginal as one. So it's a risk.

Bryan Smith (1:00:04 PM PT): The first player drafted that was a JuCo transfer, Cashner was recruited to Texas Christian to replace Jake Arrieta on Friday nights. But once they put him in the bullpen, he replaced Sam Demel as his fastball jumped up to 98 mph. His back-and-forth nature is pretty comparable to Jon Papelbon, actually, though I'm not going to compare his future to that. Like Papelbon, though, I think he might get tried as a starter, but I'm pretty sure he'll end up as a reliever.

Kevin Goldstein (1:01:15 PM PT): Joe -- On Friedrich, I don't have a good reason for you. He's a breaking ball guy and not a pure velocity guy, but I'm surprised he's still on the board. Most people knew Hunt was slipping, but Friedrich still being around is a big surprise.

Steven Goldman (1:03:04 PM PT): Brett Wallace looks like a Weeble. I want to see his parents. I can't recall a player who was built quite that way. We've seen the Hack Wilson, Yogi Berra, Kirby Puckett Popeye-style build, big on top, small on the bottom, kind of like an inverted triangle. Even Babe Ruth was a bit like that with those tapered ankles. I don't remember the "pyramid" body type.

Kevin Goldstein (1:04:15 PM PT): 20. Seattle -- Josh Fields, rhp, Georgia.

They wanted Cashner, so they get the player they see as the second base reliever. Like all Georgia players, he's got great hair. If you are watching this on TV, you now know what a max-effort delivery looks like.

Kevin Goldstein (1:05:38 PM PT): Steven: It's important to note that many teams take what the parents look like into account. Tales of Landon Powell's dad (MASSIVE) still are told among scouts.

Bryan Smith (1:06:33 PM PT): Give credit to Fields, though. He slipped last year when his command went to hell and he lost some velocity, so he opted not to sign with the Atlanta Braves. He went back to school, took the summer off, and when fall ball came around, everything was back.

See, see: sometimes it pays not to sign too quickly.

Kevin Goldstein (1:07:13 PM PT): lpiklor (chicago): ESPN.com is saying Cashner could get to the big leagues THIS YEAR. The Cubs are looking for a 3 or 4 starter. You don't think... nahhh... they wouldn't! Would they?

Cashner might be able to get something done out of a bullpen right now -- but as a starter . . . this year . . . no way in hell.

Kevin Goldstein (1:08:47 PM PT): DeMaro (Pittsburgh, PA): Is Alvarez looking at a gestation time similar to Braun, Tulo? Could he be up that quickly?

He is -- See you on the radio after the Pirates game Rocco.

Kevin Goldstein (1:11:02 PM PT): 21. Tigers, Ryan Perry, rhp, Arizona

If you are a Mets fan and you didn't want a reliever, be happy, because this was their guy. If you haven't figured it out yet, Detroit scouting direction David Chadd likes big guys who throw really hard. Don't be shocked in the Tigers take it slow with Perry and try to start him.

Mets could do something weird here. I'm not sure they like the high school arms. Friedrich is still around, as is Melville.

Steven Goldman (1:11:25 PM PT): As the Mets get ready to draft again here, I just want to mention Robert Stratton, Ryan Jaroncyk, Kirk Presley, and Al Shirley.

Bryan Smith (1:11:55 PM PT): Perry is a story, let me tell you. Ryan Perry was, simply, not good enough to earn an invitation to the Cape Cod League last summer. However, when a different Arizona reliever needed to drop out of the league, Arizona coach Andy Lopez pushed for the Orleans Cardinals to take Perry instead. They did, and Perry might not have thrown a fastball less than 95 mph all summer.

Kevin Goldstein (1:12:13 PM PT): Craig emails about the Astros: I quit! I can't take it anymore. I think I sent you this email last year, but I mean it this time. How does one go about choosing a new favorite team?

Could the first round have gone ANY opposite for the two Texas teams?

Kevin Goldstein (1:12:44 PM PT): Steven: So you are predicting Anthony Hewitt?

Kevin Goldstein (1:14:12 PM PT): My girlfriend is in the other room right now, and she's signing "It's Raining Men" for no apparent reason. And yet, it kinda fits.

Kevin Goldstein (1:15:27 PM PT): 22. Mets, Reese Havens, ss, South Carolina

I actually kinda like this pick. He's got some pop, he's got some holes in his swing, but he's a monster makeup kid who could move quickly, and is probably now the Mets 2B of the future.

Kevin Goldstein (1:16:31 PM PT): Ryan (Santa Barbara): They just flashed a stat on the TV: 8 E's in 50 Games for The Walrus. Should that inspire a minute amount of hope?

I'm not sure he got to more than eight balls. I kid . . . but not a ton.

Kevin Goldstein (1:17:24 PM PT): jlewallen (Arlington, VA): Boy, this thing's turned into a mess, huh?

It does every year, no?

Kevin Goldstein (1:18:46 PM PT): Best talent still on the board is all pitching. Hunt, Friedrich, Cole, Melville, Casey Kelly.

Kevin Goldstein (1:21:24 PM PT): 23. Padres, Allan Dykstra, 1b, Wake Forest

This is surprisingly high. Most saw him as a sup 1st or 2nd rounder. TONS of raw power, not sure where he fits in that organization, but this is defnitely a Grady Fuson type pick.

Bryan Smith (1:22:22 PM PT): Dykstra: Metal. Bat. Swing.

Kevin Goldstein (1:23:54 PM PT): Dan (NYC): So the general online reaction to the Mets' 2 picks thus far seems to be negative - to put it mildly. Did the Mets try to play things to safe? Is there any upside to the picks?

I don't hate it. I'm not a huge Ike Davis fan, but I know plenty that are, and again, I actually kinda like Havens here.

Kevin Goldstein (1:24:24 PM PT): macman (dc): Hey BP Guys - especially KG, Thanks a bunch for doing this. I'm totally digging the discussion and enjoying learning about these prospects as things progress.

We're here for you!

Kevin Goldstein (1:25:10 PM PT): lyricalkiller (OC): So Cole goes to college now, or what?

Great question. Yankees could bite, and he could still drop out of the first round and get paid by somebody.

Kevin Goldstein (1:26:43 PM PT): 24. Phillies - Anthony Hewitt.

This is TOTALLY awesome, as I was told this morning that the Phillies were NOT going to take an athlete, and yet they took the biggest athlete in the draft. Look, this is a total lottery ticket, but the potential payout is unmatched in the draft.

Kevin Goldstein (1:28:02 PM PT): Rockies in a weird slot here -- I expect a high school arm, and there are plenty to choose from. Doesn't anyone like high school pitchers anymore?

Kevin Goldstein (1:30:22 PM PT): Peter (Tampa): With all the players going above Casey Kelly, think he's going to Tennessee?

Not necessarily. Remeber that slots are just a recommendation. You can take Casey Kelly and give him the money he needs if you want to -- just know that MLB is gonna to call your scouting director, general manager and owner and call you all "doo-doo heads" or something before you can go over slot. So it's no sure thing, even though he is dropping.

Kevin Goldstein (1:31:21 PM PT): 25. Rockies - Christian Freidrich, lhp, EKU

Friedrich finally finds a home. So one of our more MLB experts help me. Curveball guy in Coors -- is that good or bad?

Steven Goldman (1:31:32 PM PT): Is it just me, or did Bud just pronounce "Christian" as "Fishlips?"

Kevin Goldstein (1:32:17 PM PT): Chris from LA writes to let us know that the Dodgers are listing Ethan Martin as a RHP. So there you go. That makes WAY more sense now, and fits in well with the Dodgers way of doing things.

Bryan Smith (1:32:56 PM PT): All you hear when you read or talk to people about Friedrich is the curveball, and it's certainly the best college bender in the draft. But I wasn't sold on him after the Cape last year because he was still an essentially two-pitch guy, and the fastball command was inconsistent. But give credit to Friedrich: this spring, he started using a slider very often, including as a freeze pitch for hitters expecting the curve on two strikes. It's in the low 80s and has plus potential, and that makes him a darn good prospect. And he's a darn good kid, too.

Kevin Goldstein (1:33:16 PM PT): Kyle (Westchester, PA): Where do you guys think they start Hewitt? Will he play this year?

He'll be in the Gulf Coast League when he signs, and he'll probably stay at shortstop for now.

Kevin Goldstein (1:34:18 PM PT): rjmoore (Boston): Will / should the Mets move Havens to C?

I like him better as a 2B

Kevin Goldstein (1:35:28 PM PT): batch1nyy (lubbock,tx): If you have seen them both, anthony hewitt a better or worse c.j. henry?

KG: Just as raw, twice the tools.

Steven Goldman (1:36:30 PM PT): One pick away from the Yankees now, and we're on the edge of our seats: will they take the next David Parrish, or or the next David Walling? Will they whiff on an Andy Brown, or completely fail with a Tyrell Godwin? Will it be a stunning overdraft like C.J. Henry, or simply a crippled player like Andrew Brackman? The mind boggles at the awesome possibilities.

Kevin Goldstein (1:37:09 PM PT): 26. Diamondbacks, Dan Schlereth, lhp, Arizona

This makes sense. They wanted Perry, so they took the other guy. I really like this guy, actually. No lefty in the draft matches his velo, and I love me some velo.

Kevin Goldstein (1:39:24 PM PT): The Twins still have some high school arms they like on the board. I'm surprised Odorizzi and Melville are still around. Would the Yankees just take a good high school arm here?

Kevin Goldstein (1:41:50 PM PT): 27. Twins - Carlos Guiterrez, rhp, Miami.

This is the equivalent to the Ben Revere pick last year in the sense that NOBODY saw this coming in the first round.

Will Carroll (1:43:10 PM PT): KG - is Melville pricing himself down? Might we see the Yankees act as safety net for a signability question and if so, who are the possibilities?

Marc Normandin (1:43:28 PM PT): Paul DePodesta chimes in on the Padres first pick--the wonders of the Internet.

Kevin -- isn't the lack of air resistance a problem for curveball guys? Hampton, Kile etc. didn't fair too well when they were there, though that was pre-humidor too, I guess.

Kevin Goldstein (1:43:39 PM PT): It's also the unequivalent of Revere in that Revere was a toolsy high schooler, and Gutierrez is a college reliever. Sinker/slider guy, not sure it's closer-worthy stuff, set-up man ceiling -- why in the first? Maybe Lawrie will cost a little extra.

Bryan Smith (1:43:45 PM PT): Ladies and gentleman, Gutierrez has your classic tall-and-fall delivery, and also some easy velocity. I just don't get, though, why Gutierrez goes ahead of Shooter Hunt? If Hunt doesn't work as a starter, isn't he a better reliever than Gutierrez?

Kevin Goldstein (1:45:19 PM PT): Will. Melville asked for 10-15 money before the draft, and the further he goes, the further it looks like he'll get it. That makes UNC happy, especially after getting Matt Harvey last year. I like Bryan's scouting report on Dykstra more than Depos.

Steven Goldman (1:46:05 PM PT): Yankees really need some position players that will come fast. Is that even a dim possibility at this point?

Steven Goldman (1:47:36 PM PT): I am underwhelmed.

Kevin Goldstein (1:48:06 PM PT): 28. Yankees, Gerrit Cole, rhp, Yankees

This is a great pick on a talent/slot level. Most talented high school pitcher in the draft, and the Yankees can pay him. As bad as the Brackman pick was last year . . . that's how good this one is. I'm not a big fan of low arm slot guys, but at 28, this is a fantastic pick for the Bombers.

Kevin Goldstein (1:48:43 PM PT): Just like Steven and I have the Beatles to argue about, we now also have Gerrit Cole.

Will Carroll (1:48:59 PM PT): Umm, what's wrong with THIS picture:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/photo?slug=efc73f0116334f4b8aa5718db04512cc.baseball_draft__gajg101&prov=ap

Kevin Goldstein (1:50:14 PM PT): Look at Mark Schlereth talking about how his kid "Cadillac's it". Is that a term used in football? Scouts in baseball uses it all the time.

Steven Goldman (1:50:23 PM PT): Kevin, it's not the talent, it's the timeline involved with a high school pitcher. And the Beatles love you, even if you don't love them. That was the whole point of the Beatles. That and making lots of money.

Steven Goldman (1:51:26 PM PT): Kyle Farnsworth: imploding on the mound at the same moment the Yankees draft Cole. Coincidence? I think not.

Kevin Goldstein (1:53:44 PM PT): 29. Indians, Lonnie Chisenhall, ss, Pitt CC (NC)

He's not a shortstop, but he gives them a non-1B and he's a nice pick here. I almost put him at 30 for Boston. Best JUCO hitter in the draft, and could fit at 2B or 3B. He can hit for average, power could end up average.

Marc Normandin (1:54:13 PM PT): Any fast track relievers left for the Red Sox at #30?

Marc Normandin (1:55:28 PM PT): Not that drafting relievers is their style. Just a wonder, given the state of their bullpen and the race in the East.

Kevin Goldstein (1:56:36 PM PT): parish4567 (hollywood): Now that its turned into a relief bonanza, how high do you see scott bittle go going -- and how can a guy have an 18K/9

Bittle has ridiculous numbers at Ole Miss, but he's kind of a trick pitcher. It's a mid-80s cutter, and it's an effective, but weird pitch -- and not the thing that's going to get him selected in the first round. More like 4th-6th.

Will Carroll (1:56:39 PM PT): Wow, I want to see the 16PF on Chisenhall.

Steven Goldman (1:56:49 PM PT): Marc, regarding your earlier question about curveballs and air resistance, I've always been taken by what Sal Maglie said after pitching in the outlaw Mexican League. He was a curveball guy, and he said that he had to put such effort into making it curve at high altitudes that when he got back to the states he could "bend it like a hoop." I don't know if the Rockies put the lie to that or not, but it's something I always think about.

Kevin Goldstein (1:58:30 PM PT): 30. Boston. Casey Kelly, ss, FLA HS

Boston finds their signability guy. He'll get more than No. 30 money and this is a great pick at 30.

Kevin Goldstein (1:59:18 PM PT): We have a 15 minute break and I desperately need to stretch and stuff. See you in 10 minutes or so.

Marc Normandin (1:59:53 PM PT): The Sox select him as a SS, which should make Casey Kelly happy and Julio Lugo upset...which in turn makes Red Sox fans happy squared.

Bryan Smith (2:00:38 PM PT): I just can't help but think that if the Twins had taken Casey Kelly at 27, that Carlos Gutierrez would still be sitting there waiting at 31. I guess I'll wait to see who they get next, but questionable philosophy I'd think.

Joe Sheehan (2:04:38 PM PT): Non-draft note: do the Yankees still need to release Jason Giambi?

Kevin Goldstein (2:04:57 PM PT): Ok I'm back. Let's get to some questions from the crowd.

Ben (California): Chisenhall isn't a guy who we've heard a lot about and I don't think many had him this high. Is that more of a makeup issue, a talent one or because he's at a JuCo?

You didn't see my Top 50 then, because I had Chisenhall #35. So this is NOT a big reach at all. Among hitters who are not big one dimensional first basemen, Chisenhall is one of the best.

Kevin Goldstein (2:06:02 PM PT): Marc. Kelly's ETA is no more that 2011-12, so I imagine Julo will sleep alright tonight.

Kevin Goldstein (2:06:57 PM PT): BrettG (Worthington, OH): Yeah, that's a nice DEVIL Rays hat for Beckham. He won't get to wear that in the Majors until they wear retro jerseys.

See, I like him even more now. Bring back the D-Rays!

Kevin Goldstein (2:08:11 PM PT): polyspast (Brooklyn): Did the Twins pick Aaron Hicks as a pitcher or an outfielder and what does it mean for Ben Revere if its the later?

Again, you don't let a guy like Ben Revere change who you pick in the first round. Plus, Revere's arm is a total noodle. You're talking a 30 arm vs. a 70+ arm.

Steven Goldman (2:09:58 PM PT): As Joe notes, a walk-off, two out, bottom of the ninth, 0-2 upper deck HR for Jason Giambi. Joe, I've been saying that if he keeps hitting this way the Yankees owe it to themselves to try to move him given that (a) they're certain to buy him out, (b) they're probably not going anywhere anyway, and (c)they really need some young position players in the system. Do you buy that, and do you think there's a market? I noted the other day that Angels DHs are hitting about .210/.210/.210 for the season, so there would seem to be a market.

Kevin Goldstein (2:10:00 PM PT): Sal (Brooklyn): Now that the Mets have drafted two college hitters whom they will not have to pay over-slot, will they draft Tim Melville at #33 and dig into their coffers to pay him Top-15 money?

It COULD happen. Somebody's gotta take him, but I'm not convinced that it will.

Kevin Goldstein (2:11:16 PM PT): illegalblues (billings, mt): what in the world is going on with shooter hunt?

He was dropping quite a bit in the latter days here, but I was sure he'd go in the 20s at least to Seattle, San Diego or Philadelphia. I'm as surprised as you. I don't think he gets through the comp, and actually might fit will to MIN here at 31.

Joe Sheehan (2:12:26 PM PT): Last non-draft note from me. Steven, the Yankees are absolutely still a viable East/WC contender, and Giambi has more value to them than he does in trade. No way I deal him.

Bryan Smith (2:12:40 PM PT): By the way, the first round featured 20 college players, 1 junior college player and 9 high school players drafted. This is the breakdown we've seen for a couple years now. High school kids: go to college!

Kevin Goldstein (2:12:47 PM PT): Just to be drafty. Jason Giambi was a second round pick as a third baseman, and he was way smaller than The Walrus at the time.

Kevin Goldstein (2:13:48 PM PT): Navin (Pasadena, CA): How far could guys like Melville, Odorizzi and Hunt fall?

Odorizzi is another interesting guy right now. He wants $1 million or he's going to Louisville. Nobody saw that as an issue at all, as it seemed for sure that he'd go in the first round. Now, you have to wonder.

Kevin Goldstein (2:14:09 PM PT): High School kids: Sign!

Steven Goldman (2:14:42 PM PT): Joe, we'll revisit in July. I'm more skeptical than you are, and I'm thinking as much about next year as this one, but time will tell.

Kevin Goldstein (2:14:55 PM PT): Carlos (Mexico): Who do you pick at 41 for the Cubs? Shooter if he's available? Melville?

Either would be a great pick. We shall see if they are still there.

Bryan Smith (2:16:59 PM PT): Great pick by the Twins. Every time I go to question this organization, they do something else in the draft that I completely understand. Shooter Hunt is great value at 31. Here's betting he ends up better than Carlos Gutierrez.

Kevin Goldstein (2:17:12 PM PT): 31. Twins, Shooter Hunt, Tulane.

Hey, I got one right. This is a nice pick at 31. Looked like a top 15 guy a month ago, but ran out of gas and had some command issues late. If he re-fiends the stuff from his early season run, the Twins get a steal.

Will Carroll (2:17:44 PM PT): Who's this making the picks? I missed the intro.

Kevin Goldstein (2:18:46 PM PT): 32. Brewers, Jake Odorizzi, Highland HS (IL)

Another guy who just kind of has to get off the board. This is definitely another guy who people are suprised is still around, and as far as supplemental 1st round picks go, teams are a bigtime 2 for 2.

Kevin Goldstein (2:20:38 PM PT): 33. Mets, Brad Holt, RHP, UNC Wilmington

Mets take the fast rising arm -- a guy I put on the bottom of my Top 50, higher than most. Great fastball, other pitches need work.

34. Phillies, Zach Collier, of, Chino Hills HS (CA)

Phillies are thrilled, they wanted this guy in the first. But man o man, are they betting on tools. That's back to back very high risk, very high reward guys.

Kevin Goldstein (2:21:44 PM PT): 35. Brewers, Evan Fredrickson, LHP, USF

Like this guy. VERY tell LHP who throws down hell and has some projection.

Royals up next, Rany should chime in! Maybe he's dealing with a patient.

Steven Goldman (2:21:59 PM PT): Zach Collier = Jeff Jackson-type pick?

Kevin Goldstein (2:22:43 PM PT): 36. KC, Mike Montgomery, lhp, Hart HS

Another tall LHP from California, only this one is from high school. Tons of projection in this one.

Kevin Goldstein (2:23:40 PM PT): 37. SF, Conor Gillaspie, 3b, Wichita St.

A lot of people saw this as a first-round bat, but at the same time, there might be money problems. Giants looks to be ready to do the right thing in the draft.

Bryan Smith (2:24:29 PM PT): San Francisco takes another player in Gillaspie in the sandwich round that's going to hit for a good average and just a little power. I like Gillaspie quite a bit, though, and I think he's really going to hit. The Giants really have improved their future today with Gillaspie and Posey.

Kevin Goldstein (2:26:17 PM PT): 38. Astros -- Jordan Lyles, rhp, Hartsville HS

Yet another guy who few others had this high. Boy oh boy.

39. Cardinals -- Lance Lynn, rhp, UMiss

He sure is huge! Joking aside, could be a solid innings eater

40. Braves -- Brett DeVall, lhp, Niceville HS

So much better than Lyles that it's not even funny.

Bryan Smith (2:30:25 PM PT): I can almost guarantee that Jeremy Bleich made himself quite a bit of money by proving his health in the Stanford regional last weekend. He was very good in the Cape last summer and to start this year, but the Yankees needed to see his health. He showed it with 4 great innings.

Kevin Goldstein (2:30:28 PM PT): 41. Ryan Flaherty, ss, Vanderbilt

Very solid college shortstop -- big but not especially athletic, but not a great shortstop.

42. Padres, Jeff Decker, Sunrise Mt. HS

Kinda a strange pick. He's a high schooler, but he's kind of bat only. Not great tools, esp. for a teenager.

43. Arizona, Wade Miley, lhp, SE Louisiana.

Solid college lefty who was expected to go right around here.

44. Yankees, Jeremy Bleich, lhp, Stanford

This pick makes me think the Yanks wanted Miley here. Unlike Cole, this is a surprise that he went this high, not this low.

Will Carroll (2:30:33 PM PT): Rice pitcher? Yikes ... or is that an overgeneralization now?

Will Carroll (2:32:37 PM PT): Just hearing that Buster Posey is standing on that insane number and that while he said all the right things, his "advisors" are saying he's perfectly willing to stay in Tallahassee if he doesn't get eight figures.

Bryan Smith (2:32:41 PM PT): Generally that's probably still true, Will. But Price is lucky, as he never showed the ability to pitch more than an inning, so Wayne Graham didn't have the chance to overuse him. He enters pro ball with just 62 innings under his belt.

Kevin Goldstein (2:33:42 PM PT): 45. Red Sox, Bryan Price, rhp, Rice

The Red Sox like Rice guys I guess.

46. Padres, John Forsyth, 3b, Arkansas

More average than power, not especialy toolsy, polished approach, a VERY VERY San Diego pick

Kevin Goldstein (2:35:09 PM PT): We're on a break until about 6:15 ET. So no picks for 45 minutes while ESPN finishes doing whatever they do.

I'm going to work the phones for about 15 minutes, and then I'll try to ram through these questions. Once the second round begins, I won't comment on every pick, and focus on what the readers are saying and asking, while commenting on the picks here and there.

Kevin Goldstein (2:35:33 PM PT): Buster Posey is not going back to college.

Kevin Goldstein (2:55:25 PM PT): Ok, I'm back folks. I'll start deailing primary with your comments and questions from here on out, so use the link above. And again, just comments are welcome, so if you are a fan of a team or a player or whatever and have something insightful to say -- please share.

Kevin Goldstein (2:56:53 PM PT): Two things real quick.

1. Will, welcome to post draft posturing. No way he's going back. There's absolutely NOTHING he can do to increase his value from where it is right now.

2. My new crazy prediction. Angels get Melville with their first pick (No. 74 overall) and turn that selection into a first-round pick.

Kevin Goldstein (2:59:01 PM PT): jimbeau (Left Coast): Hi KG. Assuming due diligence and that the character issues are moot...compare/contrast Chisenhall with the other bats in the draft. Upside? He hit 3rd at SC, any power? What position?

KG: He's either a 2b/3b in the end, and he has average power. With so few NON-1B avaialbe, I do like the pick.

Steven Goldman (3:01:19 PM PT): Kevin, best bat on the board right now?

Kevin Goldstein (3:01:25 PM PT): phoenix (mars): several relievers chosen early. does this tell us anything interesting about the status of the game, or is it just a fluke dictated by the way high schools and colleges have allocated talent? what sort of future do you see for these players, Cashner especially?

KG: I think you saw two things happen really. Teams saw guys they didn't love and decided to take either the toolsiest guy they could find, or the safe route with a college reliever. As for Melville -- I think they're going to try to start him.

Kevin Goldstein (3:02:41 PM PT): mymrbig (New Orleans): OK, as a guy who went to Rice and sat the bench (deep bench, may I add), I am getting a little tired of the "Rice pitcher" line. I was looking at Boyd's World's pitch counts and there was only 1 Rice guy listed once for this year (Ryan Berry, with 124 pitches on 3/28). I know Rice pitcher's have a bad history (Kenny Baugh, John Skaggs, Jeff Niemann, Wayne Townsend, Phillip Humber, etc.), but seriously. Bringing this up about a reliever? When Rice pitchers no longer throw as often or as much? No one cares more about his players than Wayne Graham, and you can take that to the bank. Please get over it.

KG: This is an important point. Rice has a track record of abusing pitchers, but they've been much, much better about it of late.

Kevin Goldstein (3:05:03 PM PT): Steven. Only three hitters from my top 50 remain.

Tyler Ladendorf: Juco SS w/ speed
Denis Raben: slugging LF from Miami who had poor junior year
James Darnell: S. Carolina 3B with juice in his bat, but loopy swing, probably a LF in the end

Kevin Goldstein (3:05:58 PM PT): jlarsen (DRays Bay): Melville, Westmoreland or Galloway at 2-47 for the Rays?

Ike Galloway might be a nice pick here. Tooly high school outfielder who didn't perform as expected this spring.

Kevin Goldstein (3:07:10 PM PT): Blake (Arlington): Kevin, bigger steal: Smoak at 10 or Friedrich at 25?

Smoak is the steal of this draft as far as I'm concerned.

Kevin Goldstein (3:09:03 PM PT): Matt (Belmont,CA): Can you help me justify Weeks over the Walrus for the A's?

Absolutely. Always bet on the tools. And it's not like Weeks didn't perform. much nicer player.

Kevin Goldstein (3:10:31 PM PT): JT (Northern California): Will Jake Jeffries be one of the next few catchers taken? How do you rate him as a prospect?

He definitely will be. There is a HUGE dropoff at catcher after the three guys we saw go in the first nine picks, but Jeffries is among the best of what's left. He doesn't have much power, but he'll hit for average.

Kevin Goldstein (3:11:26 PM PT): Kenningolo (SF): Does Weeks have quick enough hands to be a productive hitter in MLB? Does he have soft enough hands to stay at 2B?

Absolutely. He's going to hit, and he has batspeed power. The hands aren't the issue with Weeks at 2B -- it's more a positioning and footwork issue.

Kevin Goldstein (3:15:24 PM PT): SBE (Nashville): KG, tell us a bit more about Royals supp pick Mike Montgomery. Was he the best prep LHP in your mind? Seems like he has the body, arm, and projection scouts drool over.

You nailed it. He's 6-5 and skinny, but very athletic. Avg velocity now, should find more as he fills out, and he has an above avg. breaking ball and changeup for a teenager. It's a nice pick.

Kevin Goldstein (3:17:23 PM PT): Mateo (Guaymas, Mexico): Who do you really like that's on the board here early in round dos?

Melville is the obvious one, but I think somebody soon is going to take Cal righty Tyson Ross. He didn't perform well, but he's a big kid with a big arm.

Kevin Goldstein (3:18:26 PM PT): John (Santa Fe): What do you think the Brewers will do with Lawrie?

They're going to catch him -- many teams had that plan.

Kevin Goldstein (3:19:47 PM PT): big baby (nj): Ike Davis, if he makes it, = Cliff Floyd?

No way. People forget that Cliff Floyd was once a five tool athletic stud. I'm not a huge Davis fan. Decent average, good power guys who is going to rack up some big strikeout totals. As a first baseman, I'm not convinced he's more than average.

Kevin Goldstein (3:20:45 PM PT): Roscoe (HMB, CA): Thanks so much for this today, you're sensational. Any good SS/3B here in the second round?

I'm doing my best! Best one on the board still is a Juco SS named Tyler Ladendorf.

Kevin Goldstein (3:21:41 PM PT): lbihced (Medford, N.J. ): Kevin, great chat, thanks. Seems like the Phillies have taken the long view with their first two picks,how do you think they did and do the picks make sense to you. Thanks.

Nobody loves tools more than I, but buy, going back to back with Hewitt and Collier is either a huge mistake or absolute genius. There's really no in between with those two.

Kevin Goldstein (3:22:55 PM PT): brattman (Chicago, IL): Where do you guys see Zach Putnam going?

There's some medical issues there, but you should see him here soon in the 2nd or 3rd.

Kevin Goldstein (3:23:56 PM PT): batch1nyy (lubbock, tx): horrible yanks pick?

Right now, let's call it one good pick, one confusing one.

Kevin Goldstein (3:27:24 PM PT): The second round has started with the Rays taking Kyle Lobstein. Great pick. A HS lefty who had some struggles but has a lot of raw talent.

Kevin Goldstein (3:28:37 PM PT): Ok, I know I wasn't going to comment on every pick. But there's Tanner Scheppers. That's the riskist pick in the draft, but if he comes all the way back from his mystery injury, that's two Top 10 talents to Pittsburgh. He was up to 98 mph before things went wrong.

Kevin Goldstein (3:30:03 PM PT): DaveKavanagh (Dublin, Ireland): Kevin, I'm loving the job that you're doing on the draft---I never thought that I could get this excited about it. I know that Cole is no sure thing, but I'm guessing that he has a better chance of making The Show than Brackman has; who has the higher pure upside though, regardless of the likelihood of reaching it?

Hey, you're in Ireland. Can you tell Goldman that U2 really isn't that good, and that Eno, as brilliant as he is, basically ruined him. Basically, I'll take Cole over Brackman on pretty much anything you bring up except for basketball skills.

Kevin Goldstein (3:31:00 PM PT): fellajsmall (GA): Ross Seaton to the Braves?

I'm sticking with my projection in unfiltered!

Kevin Goldstein (3:32:17 PM PT): Ok, I've decided that I love the Phillies draft. They could basically open a Home Depot at this point with all the tools they've taken after selecting Anthony Gose. Just non-stop ceiling in Philly.

Kevin Goldstein (3:33:08 PM PT): Peter (Seattle): Pittsburgh has had an awful time with having their young pitchers get hurt in the minors. Maybe Scheppers represents an effort to cut out the middle man.

Again -- just comments are welcome; especially funny ones. Points to Peter.

Kevin Goldstein (3:34:53 PM PT): Allan Dykstra (Winston-Salem NC): Was I really the best player on the board at 23, as the Padre front office claims?

I certainly don't think so, but as the scouting cliche goes -- it only takes one. For you Dykstra followers, Cutter just went to Milwaukee in the 2nd round -- a tad higher than many expected.

Kevin Goldstein (3:36:40 PM PT): Ben F (California): To follow up on Chisenhall, I did see your top 50, but you were just about the only one that had him that high. Maybe I should have asked...why were other sources so down on him?

KG: I think that a lot of people did their rankings much earlier than I, and he would have been higher for most closer to the draft I would think. It's like the mock -- mine looks worse because I had to come out 24 hours before. Who told you Beckham was #1 and the Posey $$$ story first?

Kevin Goldstein (3:37:33 PM PT): If you are looking to keep hating on Astros, one insider callled Joe Austin's scouting bureau video the funniest things he's ever seen and called it a 20 bat.

Kevin Goldstein (3:39:09 PM PT): Ross to Oakland in the 2nd -- big power arm, not a polished guy, so not a classic Oakland pick, but a good one.

Kevin Goldstein (3:40:34 PM PT): DaveKavanagh (Dublin, Ireland): S-Gold, U2 are horribly overrated, they're a dinosaur act and pathetically don't realize it, and the only half-decent thing that they've done in the past 15 years is provide material for a very funny 'South Park' episode.

KG: I think Dave is my new best friend.

Kevin Goldstein (3:41:43 PM PT): Dave (Chicago): Isn't the Yankees draft so far shades of 2006, where they drafted Joba, the big upside guy, first, then drafted Kennedy, the polished lower-ceiling college guy next?

Kennedy is a far better prospect than Bliech

Kevin Goldstein (3:42:23 PM PT): A college closer didn't make sense for the Dodgers in the first, but it did in the second with Purdue's Josh Lindbloom, who was in my Top 50.

Steven Goldman (3:42:27 PM PT): Kevin, I didn't say "U2," I said "The Who."

Kevin Goldstein (3:44:06 PM PT): Wishiwasbond (Los Angeles): If the Giants draft Melville with #82 and manage to get rid of the drift wood at the trade deadline (a dream I know) is it possible their payroll for this draft would be greater that for the Major League team ??

KG: Have you seen Barry Zito's contract.

Quick break here, but go to Sirius 123 if you want to here me talk about what's going on for five minutes.

Will Carroll (3:49:51 PM PT): WHOA! Big big brawl in Boston.

Kevin Goldstein (3:52:46 PM PT): Hey! Look who the Braves took at 70! The guy I said they'd take with their first pick at 40. Do I get any credit for that? Just a little? Aw c'mon!

Kevin Goldstein (3:55:36 PM PT): drewfuss (KC): KG - Have you even heard of the Royals 3rd rounder??? Apparently they have already given up after 2 picks, and I should have given up years ago... sound about right?

KG: Royals fans are such a psychotic mess. This is really maybe a round or two too high, that's it. You might fall in love with him. He's a bigtime grinder with a nice line drive bat, a little bit of pop, patient approach, and he pretty much never strikes out.

Kevin Goldstein (3:57:13 PM PT): And there's Bittle to the Yankees. Interesting that a guy who totally lives off one pitch (and it's a cutter), goes to the Yankees. If anyone can teach him how to do that at the next level, it's Mariano.

Kevin Goldstein (4:00:20 PM PT): Matt (Oakland, CA): What can you tell me about Ross' mechanical issues (or lack of polish)?

He's just more of a thrower than a pitcher. It's not very smooth, and his command comes and goes, but you can't teach height and velocity.

With no Posey, the Rays still get a college catcher with Jake Jeffries to kick off the third round. Jeffries is no Posey, but he's got a nice line drive bat.

Kevin Goldstein (4:02:02 PM PT): fellajsmall (GA): So what is the deal with Melville? UNC here I come?

It's looking more and more like he'll be a Tar Heel. His mom sent an email to scouts a few days back saying he'd expect 10-15 money -- I guess that was enough to kill him.

Kevin Goldstein (4:02:35 PM PT): Tyler Sample at 80 to KC is Highway Robbery -- I had a scout just rave about him early this morning.

Kevin Goldstein (4:04:51 PM PT): billyho7 (san francisco): The Mets second rounder - Javier Rodriguez.....so obscure I can't even google stalk him. any info or is this an omar minaya special?

Tons of J-Rod questions (look at that -- I gave him a nickname!). I didn't know him either -- scouting buddy IM'd me -- Long, lanky, toolsy and raw. Plus speed, plus arm, some power potential.

Kevin Goldstein (4:06:01 PM PT): David (Sonoma State University, CA): What kind of whiskey do you drink?

Depends. Mostly borboun really, from Jack to Maker's Mark to Knob Creek.

Kevin Goldstein (4:07:32 PM PT): dan (pittsburgh): jordy mercer a good pick?

Maybe! College player with tools and athleticism, but not great results.

Kevin Goldstein (4:10:06 PM PT): I like the Nats 3rd round pick here in Danny Espinosa. He's a better defender than either of the big names LBSU shortstops (Crosby, Longoria), but not nearly to offensive firepower.

Kevin Goldstein (4:11:02 PM PT): David (Sonoma State University, CA): You do this for a living, and I bartend/go to school. Any other drinks of choice?

You know how to make a Presbyterian? I could use one after this . . . or eight.

Kevin Goldstein (4:14:16 PM PT): John (SF): What can you tell us about Preston Paramore?

Tons of questions about every Oakland pick as they hit (Really, at BP, that's so weird!). Some thought Paramore would go much earlier than this, but that's really just because he's a catcher. Nice defender, but the bat is nothing to write home about, and he's anything but an athlete.

Kevin Goldstein (4:15:19 PM PT): Dodgers take Kyle Russell in the 3rd. Going back to school cost him a lot of money. Cardinals would have paid more.

Kevin Goldstein (4:16:34 PM PT): moonkyu (sf): any analysis on Mets' 2nd rounder javier rodriguez? When did PR baseball academies become included in the draft? Also, since you're all here, could you guys discuss Iola(sp), the dominican who is expected to sign?

Puerto Rico became part of the draft in the early 90s. You'll get a full feature on Inoa this month.

Kevin Goldstein (4:17:56 PM PT): Ben F (California): No to be a smarty-pants, know-it-all, but Jack isn't Bourbon but rather Tennessee whiskey. The major difference is that Tennessee whiskey is filtered through maple charcoal.

Smarty pants. Go talk to John Erhardt about beer.

Kevin Goldstein (4:19:14 PM PT): Chris Carpeter to the Cubs in the third. Late first-round arm, but a big medical record, including a TJ and a clean-up procedure.

Kevin Goldstein (4:20:18 PM PT): ted (the cubicle): How about Roger Kieschnick -- did the Giants go 3 for 3? I saw Baseball America had him at #44.

Believe it or not, the Giants are kicking ass and taking names.

Kevin Goldstein (4:22:24 PM PT): Grasspike (NC): Can I get excited about the Reds pick of the TT closer?

Probably more of a set-up guy in the end according to a scout down there that I know. Sinker is a great pitch, but he doesn't have another.

Kevin Goldstein (4:24:28 PM PT): bravoatoc (Tulsa): So, I know we aren't near being done, but what are your initial views on who had the best draft and who had the worst? Actually who is having the best draft, the Astros ARE having the worst.

I haven't had time to digest it all, but as weird as this sounds. I really like the Giants draft.

Kevin Goldstein (4:26:00 PM PT): bravoatoc (Tulsa): Who is Craig Kimbrel? And should I be excited by the Braves draft so far? (In all seriousness, who is Craig Kimbrel, I have no idea.)

I'm told by a source that he's short, and he throws very hard.

Bryan Smith (4:27:17 PM PT): Kevin is red-hot and I feel bad stopping his run here, but I want to give some kudos to Mike Weathers and the Long Beach State program. I mean, insane. Vance Worley at 102 was the fifth player taken in the draft, with the other four being Andrew Liebel, the aforementioned Espinosa, closer Bryan Shaw and outfielder Shane Peterson.

Weathers also coached Team USA last summer, and while most of those guys are developed when they make the team, I think he deserves some credit for that. What a coach.

Kevin Goldstein (4:29:09 PM PT): Darin (Stupidtown. Home of the Houston Astros): Do you know anything about Chase Davidson?

Huge kid with huge power, but needs work and he's not an athlete. Maybe they hope he can make up for not getting the big bat in the first.

Kevin Goldstein (4:32:23 PM PT): ok, let's give Astros fans some hope. Ross Seaton is WAY better than the 109th best pick in the draft. If they can sign him away from Tulane, they got a very nice value there.

Kevin Goldstein (4:33:43 PM PT): Bryan is coming in for a few minutes while I stretch and try to see if my eyes still work.

Bryan Smith (4:34:26 PM PT): All right, I'm going to step in here and give Kevin a short break. He'll be back to your questions real soon.

At the end of the third round you get Aaron Weatherford going to the Rockies and Kyle Weiland to the Red Sox. I like these picks a lot, because both have very good arms that could really provide similar value to what the first round relievers give you. It's a good strategy to wait for relievers, I think.

Bryan Smith (4:35:50 PM PT): Let me draw notice to what the Detroit Tigers are doing: Ryan Perry, Cody Satterwhite, Scott Green. The Tigers just selected three college arms that have a huge amount of upside. Perry could be a lights-out closer, Satterwhite has an arm that I think will play great in middle relief, and Scott Green could still be a 3/4.

Bryan Smith (4:37:22 PM PT): And finally, Tim Melville goes off the board at 115. The Royals would go from a good draft to a great if they can sign him, but it's a tall order when you already have to sign the third overall pick.

If they do, though, the Royals will have taken Mike Montgomery, Tyler Sample and Tim Melville. If you asked me the three pitchers with the most projection before the draft, there's a chance I would have gone with those three.

Bryan Smith (4:39:42 PM PT): The Giants pop Brandon Crawford here in the fourth, and I think it's a fabulous selection. Crawford is incredibly raw for someone his age, but he has some really nice tools. After going for sure bets in Buster Posey and Conor Gillaspie, Crawford is the perfect type of complement. Throw in Roger Kieschnick, who was once considered a first round right fielder, and it's possible -- not likely, but possible -- the Giants just filled half their future.

Bryan Smith (4:41:06 PM PT): Kevin mentioned the Cubs taking Chris Carpenter a little bit ago, but I don't want to let the 65th overall pick go unnoticed. Aaron Shafer was, one year ago, considered to be a sure-fire top ten pick. What happened wasn't really a loss in velocity, but a complete loss in consistency. He has a great change up, and if the Cubs feel they can teach him a breaking ball, he becomes a good prospect quick.

Bryan Smith (4:42:33 PM PT): Another reliever worth mentioning, if only because I have some unique info: the White Sox take Drew O'Neil, from Penn State in the fourth. I LOVE this pick. I went through O'Neil's play-by-play logs last week, and look at what I found: O'Neil garnered 43 groundball outs in 2008, versus just THREE outfield flyball outs. He also had three infield flies and two lineouts. That's a sinker, and he's really about the same pitcher as Carlos Gutierrez.

Bryan Smith (4:44:22 PM PT): What goes unnoticed in the third round is the Dodgers take a chance on Kyle Russell. It's hard to know what the Cardinals offered Russell one year ago, but insanely enough, he might not have lost that much money by going back to Texas and struggling for about the entire season. Russell has a swing that I can't imagine will work with wood, but he also developed Bondsian patience and has some prodigious power. There were worse third round choices.

Kevin Goldstein (4:44:31 PM PT): Tom Waits (Ducksnortville, The Intertubes): Is it wrong for me to be more excited about Darnell than the Padres first 3 picks?

Probably -- But I do like Darnell and thought he would go higher.

Kevin Goldstein (4:48:23 PM PT): To comment on some of what Bryan wrote -- I think there's a decent chance that the Tigers try to see if Perry can start initially. I couldn't agree more about the Royals' affinity for young arms. If they sign Melville -- they've have a monster draft. In a perfect world, Russell becomes a thinner Jack Cust, because he's going to strike out a TON.

Bryan Smith (4:49:28 PM PT): I praised a few drafts above, but for the sake of taking the spotlight away from Houston for a second, let me get to another draft I don't like: St. Louis.

The Brett Wallace pick was a safe one for me, and while he'll hit, I think they run into positional problems quickly. Lance Lynn is another safe pick, and as Will Carroll has noted, he comes with a lot of innings on those arms. And what are you hoping for, the last five years of Livan Hernandez? Shane Peterson is a bit of a tweener, because I don't think he ends up hitting for the power to work in a corner. I like Niko Vasquez, so that's a plus for me. And just now they go with Scott Gorgen, who offers the draft's best change up, but who a lot of scouts struggle to see as a Major League pitcher.

Where's the upside?

Kevin Goldstein (4:49:35 PM PT): Steve (ND): Am I the only person in America who still believes in Jordan Danks?

You aren't going to need a big room for this year's convention.

Kevin Goldstein (4:50:49 PM PT): David (Sonoma State University, CA): How big is the gap between Posey and Skipworth, in terms of talent?

Posey much better hitter, much better approach, much surer thing. Skippy -- more power potential. Defensively it's not even close. Posey might be a gold glove guy, while Skipworth might or might not be a catcher when we're done.

Kevin Goldstein (4:52:00 PM PT): Alex (SF, CA): TELL US ABOUT THE NEXT A'S PICK!

Saw this coming. Not a big physical lefty, but average to slightly above velo, very nice changes, not much of a breaking ball.

Bryan (4:52:23 PM PT): Kevin, tell Steve from North Dakota that I'll speak at the convention. Danks is an elite baserunner, a good outfielder with a very good arm, and he has some patience and still looks good in batting practice. With a lot less strikeouts, there's a leadoff profile in there somewhere.

Kevin Goldstein (4:53:28 PM PT): Sam (Columbia): Any chance Melville is leverage/a backup plan against Hosmer?

Points to Sam! I'm not convinced though. If he was just an insurance pick, he'd go way lower. They wouldn't have taken Hosmer at 3 unless they thought they could sign him. Melville is a guy they'll make a run at.

Bryan Smith (4:54:09 PM PT): Hey, look, another Tigers draft selection with a gigantic college arm. Who wants to bet they take Kyle Thebeau in the next round?

Kevin Goldstein (4:55:01 PM PT): Jordan (Beer town, Wisconsin): On the topic of alcohol, whats your favorite beer?

Rolling Rock. I'm anything but a beer snob. I could use one of those right about now as well . . . or eight.

Kevin Goldstein (4:55:36 PM PT): David (Sonoma State University, CA): Would Skipworth have been picked higher if he played a different position?

No. Lower. Premium position = premium pick. See how high Castro went?

Kevin Goldstein (4:58:06 PM PT): dan (SoFla): If the Marlins are having such trouble developing that four first-round pitching bounty, why keep taking guys in "later" rounds who sound like they're going to need far more help getting themselves together?

Because it's the fourth round and that's what you get around here?

Bryan Smith (4:58:11 PM PT): I don't love what the Padres did earlier, but you have to give them some credit with James Darnell and now, Jason Kipnis from Arizona State. Kipnis is a draft-eligible sophomore so he won't be the easiest sign, and his body isn't one the scouts love. But the dude has speed, patience, and some power. You can do a lot worse in this round, trust me.

Kevin Goldstein (4:59:04 PM PT): David (Sonoma State Univeristy, CA): Rolling Rock is so underrated, it's unbelievable...call it the Smoak of beers.

I know I take a lot of questions from David, but he makes me laugh for whatever reason. Especially when I'm loopy. And I'm way loopy.

Kevin Goldstein (5:01:40 PM PT): Ah, I totally missed one here during my break. Baltimore's 4th rounder, Kyle Hudson, is better known for his wide receiver play at Illinois, but he's an 80 runner with a ton of range in centerfield who did a lot this spring in terms of improving his approach and baserunning to make some believe he can have some leadoff possibilities. He might be my new Orioles sleeper.

Kevin Goldstein (5:04:35 PM PT): Ben (Dallas): So besides the obvious stellar pick of Smoak at 11, how is the Rangers Draft looking so far? To me it seems that the pitcher all have clean mechanics, have atleast some projectabiliy left and do the little things. The Lefties in the 2nd and 3rd really help address the lack of orginizational depth in that department. What are you guys take?

The Smoak pick pretty much makes the draft. They could pass after that and have a good draft. I'm not a huge Ross fan, but that's a personal bias against height, and I've been burned on that at times. Murphy has little ceiling, but if he's a fifth-starter in two years I won't be shocked. Wieland is a high school guy, but also more polish than power.

Bryan Smith (5:05:50 PM PT): Justin Wilson to the Pirates to start the fifth, and like Jeremy Bleich earlier, we see a guy that pitched really inspired on regional weekend make himself some money.

Kevin Goldstein (5:06:22 PM PT): Royals keep stocking up on big projectable high school kids with John Lamb in the fifth.

Kevin Goldstein (5:08:51 PM PT): Ben F (California): You know, I like Rolling Rock. And around here I can almost always find it cheaper then even Bud/Miller/Coors.

It's funny. Around here, Rolling Rock gets treated fairly well, like a Heineken level beer (common, but a step above the big brands). In PA, where they make the stuff, it's total swill beer that you buy when all you have is pocket change. It's funny how the reputation changes depending on where you are.

Kevin Goldstein (5:09:50 PM PT): Grasspike (NC): What exactly would garner an 80 on the tool scale? Speed specifically. What would a 4.0 from home to first get? A 3.8?

4 from the right side, 3.8 from the left maybe. 80 fastball is generally 98+ mph, 80 power is 40+ HR a year.

Kevin Goldstein (5:10:52 PM PT): Peter (Tampa): Thoughts on rays draft? Seems like we got a solid player in every round, Lobstein looks to maybe be a factor, Beckham, if he can stick at SS, will be good, and Jeffries is a good project at Catcher. Thoughts?

Agreed. Even past Beckham, they're doing quite well.

Kevin Goldstein (5:13:11 PM PT): Mike (Jax, FL): Orioles are going straight speed and defense today.

There are far worse strategies in a draft.

Kevin Goldstein (5:17:35 PM PT): Alex (SF, CA): For sheer predictability's sake WHO HECK IS THIS GUY THE A'S JUST DRAFTED?!?!?

Classic A's kinda pick as a polished college guy with decent tools who walks a lot.

Kevin Goldstein (5:18:40 PM PT): Ben F (California): Nieto at 151 looks good for the Nats. He's a switch hitting catcher with a strong arm and I thought he would go higher. What gives?

That's a bit of a mystery. I honestly don't know. He didn't have a big college commitment and I didn't hear any big dollar needs, so I'm as suprised as you. It will take some detective work to figure out what happened there.

Kevin Goldstein (5:19:28 PM PT): What's cooler about Milwaukee's fifth-round pick? That he's a guy named Maverick, or that he went to Sandra Day O'Connor High School?

Kevin Goldstein (5:20:11 PM PT): mike (oakland): if g. beckham moves over to 2b...as far as upside ...who ranks better beckham or weeks

Weeks has more upside, Beckham the far safer bet.

Kevin Goldstein (5:21:18 PM PT): Brian (Kansas City): So does Dayton Moore realize that there are other positions of need besides pitcher? Shouldn't the draft be more balanced?

Let me flip this on you. You take a high school pitcher in the 3rd round. You get to the fourth, and your five best remaining players are all high schol pitchers. Don't you take one?

Kevin Goldstein (5:21:39 PM PT): Carlos (Mexico): Best Mexican beer? I'd go with Bohemia Oscura and Modelo Especial.

Me gusta Bohemia.

Kevin Goldstein (5:22:32 PM PT): Darin (Houston): Does Castro automatically go to the front of the line as the Astros best prospect?

More by default than anything else.

Kevin Goldstein (5:26:41 PM PT): Daniel (Stockton, CA): Top Giants prospect: Posey or Villalona?

Great question. I'm going with Posey by a nosey.

Kevin Goldstein (5:29:02 PM PT): When the Rockies took Chris Dominguez in the 5th round, it was one of this situation where you are suprised he's still around. He's a huge kid (6-5,235) with very real power, but he'll be a tough sign because he's only a sophomre and he's more than a fifth round talent.

Kevin Goldstein (5:30:33 PM PT): Grasspike (NC): How do scouts determine batting eye on high schoolers? I'd think that would be the most difficult thing to determine, as most of the drafted high school players get pitched around a lot anyway...

The good ones can get some feel for pitch recognition from watching the high school kids and seeing how well they adjust to fastballs or breaking balls as they come out of the hand. That kind of skill often leads to good plate discipline.

Kevin Goldstein (5:33:11 PM PT): Plummeting Zach Putnam finally goes at the end of the fifth round to Michigan. There was some kind of medical situation that I'm not quite sure of yet that dropped him.

Bryan Smith (5:33:19 PM PT): I know Kevin disagrees with me, but I absolutely see Zach Putnam as the Jake Arrieta of the 2008 draft. Yes, Putnam had health issues that forced his drop while Arrieta had no real reason, but I see Putnam coming into pro ball and shoving it immediately, with Arrieta-like results. Great pick by the Indians.

Kevin Goldstein (5:36:03 PM PT): Tyler (Toronto): Hey Guys, How are you holding up? What have you thought of the Jays draft so far?

I think I'm the only one left. I'm the crazy one. I think the Jays draft has been solid. They got the big college bat (or second choice) that they wanted in the first round, and since then they've balanced well between tools and polish.

Kevin Goldstein (5:36:50 PM PT): Greg (Pequannock, NJ): Kevin, is it really fair to give the Rangers credit for taking Smoak?

What am I supposed to do? Say the Rangers had a bad draft because Smoak fell in their lap?

Kevin Goldstein (5:43:34 PM PT): jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Wow. Kenny Williams Jr. to the ChiSox in the 6th. Was he really rated that high, or am I right to be cynical?

He's not as good a prospect as his did was, and while he would have been drafted in the next few rounds, yes, the 6th round seems like a reach.

Kevin Goldstein (5:44:24 PM PT): dan (pittsburgh): By looking at the draft so far, do the Pirates finally have a front office that knows what they're doing?

Here comes the sun, do dee do do.

Kevin Goldstein (5:45:56 PM PT): strupp (Madison): KG, had to spend a few hours at the worksite... can you give me a quick and dirty Cubs recap? Appreciated.

They've been really college heavy, which seems really weird for them. My favorite pick as far as talent vs. where we went is Chris Carpenter.

Kevin Goldstein (5:46:48 PM PT): David (Samona State University, CA): I take it Harold Martinez will be going to Miami? What happened to Isaac Galloway, by the way?

He'll be going to San Diego State!

Kevin Goldstein (5:47:16 PM PT): Stephen (Louisville): For the Cubs, does Cashner = Marmol insurance?

Unsure. They might just try to start him.

Kevin Goldstein (5:49:18 PM PT): Alan (St. Pete): The Rays' fifth pick, Mike Sheridan, has some impressive numbers, but beyond that I don't know diddly and can't find any detailed scouting reports. What kind of upside does he have?

Don't know much about him. But don't read much into college numbers. There will be 41st round guys who have sick numbers in college.

Kevin Goldstein (5:50:10 PM PT): Chip1010 (San Diego): If the Mariners think Fields can help them move Morrow into the rotation, does that make the pick any more excusable? I'm looking for a silver lining. How about the rest of the M's draft?

That was certainly one of the first things I thought of.

Kevin Goldstein (5:50:25 PM PT): Ben (Tulsa): Just to be clear, you are going to do a draft round up for each team early next week, right?

If you ask nicely.

Kevin Goldstein (5:53:03 PM PT): Hyatt (Arlington): Have the Brewers done enough to bring their system back to it's former prominence with their 5 picks in the top 62? And do any of their guys have STAR!!! potential?

I like their draft at the top quite a bit, and I imagine that both Lawrie and Odorizzi will place highly on next year's top 11.

Kevin Goldstein (5:54:07 PM PT): drewfuss (KC): KC Royals clearly not phoning it in as I previously thought, but waiting until the 4th on Melville??? If he goes to UNC they get nothing! Take him in 2, or 3, and they get compensation! Its not like they were drafting All-Stars in rounds 2 or 3 and had to wait on Melville.

I guess I didn't make it clear just how much I love Tyler Sample in the 3rd.

Kevin Goldstein (5:55:09 PM PT): roosevelt brown (brant brown's basement): can you explain why the cubs have taken two jockey-sized middle infielders and a bunch of college arms? I need a toolsy prep outfielder to liven this up.

The Phillies got all of them.

Kevin Goldstein (5:57:38 PM PT): Ben (Tulsa): Does the draft just end at 9 tonight, or do they continue until the end of the round?

They'll finish the sixth.

Bryan Smith (5:58:08 PM PT): We often think about high school players having leverage by using college to heighten their bonus demands. One subset we don't talk about much that has the same advantage are draft-eligible sophomores. So while it might look like San Diego took a low-budget approach to the draft, don't be so sure. I hit on Jason Kipnis a little earlier, and in round 6, the Padres took Florida shortstop Cole Figueroa. Both players will probably want above-slot money to sign, but it would be a coup to land both. Figueroa is easily, for me, the prospect Russ Adams was when he was drafted in the first round. I mean that as a compliment to Figueroa, but now it does sort of seem like a back-handed one.

Kevin Goldstein (5:59:13 PM PT): J (USA): Any injury concerns with Matusz going forward - i.e any potential redflags health wise?

He's healthy, he kept his stuff all year and late into games, and he's pretty clean mechanically.

Kevin Goldstein (6:01:13 PM PT): Quick thoughts on the A's draft overall? Weeks, Ross, Paramore, Capra, Christian (Michigan)...

Big fan of the first two picks. Since then, just so-so.

Kevin Goldstein (6:03:51 PM PT): David (Sonoma State University, CA): (Really me). No more questions from me tonight, I speak for everyone, fake aliases and all, thanks so much for the roundtable. You guys are great!

And thanks to everyone who read and got involved. The sixth round is over, and so is Day One of the draft, and so, frankly, am I.


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